Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Tips to Get a Good Night's Sleep

It might surprise you to learn that when you are sitting up and wide awake at 3 am you are not alone, as around a third of people in the UK suffer insomnia. This article is here to help you get a good night's sleep and feel good when you wake in the morning.

Why do I sleep but feel tired in the morning?

What is a good night's sleep varies between individuals but most of us seem to need between six and nine hours a night. There are different levels of sleep and we tend to cycle through them in around ninety minutes. Some people find that waking in the middle of a cycle leaves them feeling tired, so you might feel better after seven and a half hours sleep (which divides into five complete cycles) than you do after eight hours, which leaves you waking part way through.
The levels are:
  • sleep latency (falling asleep, which should ideally take no more than 20 minutes)
  • restorative sleep (very deep sleep in which your body repairs itself, healing and digestion occur)
  • REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep (in which you dream)
People who are very stressed have been shown to spend longer in dream sleep at the expense of the restorative kind, which is why they sometimes wake after a full night's sleep still feeing tired.

Tips to improve your sleep

  • If you're not sure why you have trouble sleeping, try a sleep diary. Divide it into two time zones so you are monitoring the effect of things that happen to you during the day and the things that happen to you when you are trying to sleep.
  • If there are several factors affecting your sleep, don’t try to change them all at once. One at a time is less stressful and will help you understand which factors affect you most.
  • A number of health problems can impact on your sleep, so get an 'MOT' from the well man or woman clinic.
  • Avoid anything that will tend to wake you up in the last couple of hours before bed - heavy meals, caffeine, energy drinks, vigorous exercise.
  • Keep a regular bedtime routine, including a time to wind down. Many people find warm baths or relaxation exercises are helpful.
  • Alcohol may help you drop off to sleep but it won’t help you stay asleep, avoid it if you can.
  • Make sure your room is safe, warm and comfortable and that it’s not too light or dark.
  • Soothing smells help some people, lavender or rose are good.
  • Some people find an ioniser is helpful, it’s said to increase serotonin levels and help you relax.

If after all this you still have trouble sleeping, try enlisting the help of a stress management coach or hypnotherapist. They can support you in dealing with any stress, anxiety or worrying that's having an impact on your sleep levels, and also help you re-establish good sleeping patterns.

I have a video on this information and a little more, see it at You Tube

Contact me if you need this kind of help.


Author: is a professional stress management coach, specialising in working with individuals and smaller employers to minimise stress and maximise feeling in control.Debbie is has also written about helping people with IBS in the Hypnotherapy Handbook which is available from Amazon.co.uk.
Find out more about Debbie's services on www.yorkshirestressmanagement.com  or phone 01977 678593

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